If I feel like this now, what am I going to feel like next week after the termination?

I’m 26 with two girls, age 5 and 6 and live with my partner of 7 years. They are my world. Last week I found out I was pregnant after my period was late. I took a pregnancy test and when it showed positive, my whole world seemed to just fall apart. I immediately decided I did not want to carry on with the pregnancy and sought help from my doctor who booked me in to hospital for termination. I suffer from panic attacks and anxiety and I have been on a downward spiral ever since. I’m so scared of having a termination but I know this is right for me at this time in my life. I’ve started college and a new job, which is going well for me. I had never felt better until now. My partner supports me no matter what. I’m just so scared of how I’m going to feel afterwards. I feel like I’m going out of my mind and I’m so out of control. I can’t sleep or eat. If I feel like this now, what am I going to feel like next week after the termination? I still believe this is the right decision though. I’m also scared of the actual procedure of the abortion too. I hate myself at this moment in time for being in this whole predicament and feel so guilty for not wanting to carry on with the pregnancy. Please could I have some advice? I don’t seem to be getting any from anyone and I’m at my wits end. Editor’s note: Thanks for writing in…many women facing an unplanned pregnancy seem to respond from two different parts of themselves – we call them the head and the heart. The head is all about thinking logically about the circumstances. Of course, it makes sense to end a pregnancy when you are starting college and new job, or don’t have enough money or accommodation, for example. This is the part of you saying that abortion is the right decision. But the other part of us, our heart, thinks about a pregnancy differently. It responds out of instinct, conscience and belief, not fear. These are deeper, hidden responses and often get buried under the pressure of circumstances, but it’s from this part that pain can come after an abortion. It’s important to listen to both parts and give yourself time to explore these deeper feelings before making a decision. Having made the statement that your family is your world, your heart must have something to say about this pregnancy. Another sign of that is the feeling of guilt you are already experiencing – guilt tells us that we are going against one of our own values. A high value for you is being in control, it seems, and I wonder whether this unplanned event has rocked your world so much externally, that you feel a greater sense of urgency to resolve this issue without giving due attention to your heart. Contact the helpline or your nearest centre to find some support and the opportunity to talk things through. We’ll be thinking of you.

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